Our previous two blog posts in this series on Facebook and other social media have discussed some basic privacy concerns with social media and the use of privacy settings to keep your information from falling into unintended hands. This blog post will discuss the consequences in a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim of an employer, insurance company or attorney discovering information posted on Facebook or some other social media site.
What Insurance Companies Do With Social Media Information
Jason Perkins recently spoke about the discovery of social media in workers’ compensation claims at the 2013 annual continuing education seminar put on by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. In both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims, your physical condition as a result of your injuries is always an important issue. Because of that, employers and insurance companies are often looking for pictures and videos posted on Facebook and other social media websites that they contend show that someone with a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim is not as injured as that person claims to be. They will also be on the lookout for posts that describe a person’s physical condition or what a person can do.
Keeping Your Information Private
The best way to keep your information private is to not post it at all. However, if you do post information, you want to make sure that it is limited to only the people that you want to see it. The reason is that information that you intend to keep private is more likely to be protected as private information by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and other courts in Georgia. If your information is publicly available and not private, then anyone can see it at anytime without evening having to go get permission from a court. Once the insurance company has access to your information, they will certainly review it to see if there is anything that they can use against you in your case. You may find that pictures and videos posted on Facebook and other social media websites could be particularly harmful to your case because they do not tell the full story of your physical condition.
Even if you do keep most of your information private on a social media website, there is a substantial risk that an insurance company or its attorney might be able to get a court to order you to provide that information to them – especially if some of the information on your social media pages is publicly available. So, if you want to keep your information private, the safest thing to do is to not post it on social media websites. While you can minimize the risk of having the information fall into unintended hands by carefully reviewing and setting your privacy options, you cannot guarantee that only the people you want will have access to the information.